Former Dolphins offensive lineman Lydon Murtha wrote a column for TheMMQB.com to give us some more insight into the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito saga.
Murtha says that Martin never really fit in once he was drafted in 2012.
“From the beginning, when he was drafted in April 2012, Martin did not seem to want to be one of the group,” Murtha wrote. “He came off as standoffish and shy to the rest of the offensive linemen. He couldn’t look anyone in the eye, which was puzzling for a football player at this level on a team full of grown-ass men. We all asked the same question: Why won’t he be open with us? What’s with the wall being put up? I never really figured it out.”
Murtha said that Martin was the first rookie he saw that was hesitant to pay for a rookie dinner and he claims that Incognito helped guide Martin during the beginning of his career.
“Martin had a tendency to tank when things would get difficult in practice, and Incognito would lift him up,” Murtha wrote. “He’d say, there’s always tomorrow. Richie has been more kind to Martin than any other player.”
Murtha is frankly surprised by what’s going on and he doesn’t think Incognito bullied Martin.
“I don’t believe Richie Incognito bullied Jonathan Martin,” he wrote. “I never saw Martin singled out, excluded from anything, or treated any differently than the rest of us. We’d have dinners and the occasional night out, and everyone was invited. He was never told he can’t be a part of this. It was the exact opposite. But when he came out, he was very standoffish. That’s why the coaches told the leaders, bring him out of his shell. Figure him out a little bit.“
Even though the Dolphins claim they didn’t know about any hazing, Murtha says the coaches know what’s going on.
“The coaches know everything,” he wrote. “The coaches know who’s getting picked on and in many cases call for that player to be singled out. Any type of denial on that side is ridiculous. I have friends on more than a dozen teams, and it’s the same everywhere. What people want to call bullying is something that is never going away from football.”
Murtha doesn’t think Incognito’s voicemails were bad because he was a jokester.
“He was the jokester on the team, and he joked with everybody from players to coaches. That voice mail he sent came from a place of humor, but where he really screwed up was using the N-word. That, I cannot condone, and it’s probably the biggest reason he’s not with the team right now. Odd thing is, I’ve heard Incognito call Martin the same thing to his face in meetings and all Martin did was laugh.”